After the CloudPets fiasco in 2017 parents are finally getting smarter about smart toys. Many are now saying connected toys are off the shopping list, going as far as asking family and friends to avoid buying them for their kids.
Tagged With toys
Here’s a secret: Kids’ favourite toys cannot be found on any store shelf. Instead, just about everything you need to stimulate, captivate and exhaust your young offspring is probably already in your possession, hiding in your linen closet, kitchen cabinet or garage.
Once you start digging around your home (as my husband and I do, frequently at 5:00AM these days), you’ll find endless novelties to present to your kids without needing to shop, wrap or spend a cent — at least until they start begging for their own phone.
Along with the beloved pool noodle, the tension rod is one of those highly versatile items that make you feel like a true MacGyver every time you discover a new off-brand use for it. Parents can hack it to make their lives easier, more organised, and more fun. Here are five ways to do just that.
When asked to name a popular toyline from the '80s, most people will plump for He-Man, Transformers or Cabbage Patch Kids. Very few would mention M.U.S.C.L.E (AKA 'Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere'). It's the toy fad that time forgot.
Originally from Japan, these bubblegum pink, lycra-clad action figures enjoyed a brief popularity boom in the mid 1980s. They combined everything kids from that era loved - monsters, robots, superheroes and wrestlers - distilled into the size of a pinkie finger.
Kids are born innovators. Any parent who’s caught their child building pyramids out of restaurant creamer cups knows this. KiwiCo helps them channel their creativity with monthly subscription boxes of STEAM-focused activities — with these hands-on kits, little makers might build an arcade claw, design their own pinball game, or create a paint pendulum. The company was founded by Sandra Oh Lin, a mother of three in California. We asked her how she parents.
US Build-A-Bear stores recently put on a Pay Your Age event, promising customers they could pay their age for just about any stuffed animal in the store. That meant if your kid is three, she could have snagged a furry friend for three bucks. What could go wrong, right? It’s only every child’s dream to bring home their very own snuggle buddy from the famed toy chain. (As a parent of a five year old, I’ve at times wondered if I should find an alternate route at the mall when I’m in a hurry so that my child won’t stop in front of the store and beg, “Pleeeeeeeease, Mum, can we go in?”)
Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and author of the New York Times bestselling book, My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha. Her flagship column, “Ask a Clean Person”, debuted in 2011. Here on Lifehacker, we’ve launched a new iteration of it, focusing on parenting and all the messes it brings.
In her new book The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids, architecture critic Alexandra Lange explains that since the dawn of the mass-produced toy industry, there have been Good Toys and Bad Toys in the eyes of adults.
"The Bad Toy is one that just sits there, to be mashed and pulled in a set sequence, and is ruined once it falls apart," she writes. "The Good Toy lets children stitch their own world back together, using the simplest of physical parts to conjure cities of imagination."
It's that time of the year when folks who plan ahead are looking at the toy sales and planning their Christmas shopping, upcoming birthdays and other occasions can take advantage of some great toy sales. Many retailers are having sales so it's good time to check out what's available and to save a few bucks.
Back in March, the Toys R Us American arm went into liquidation and started to shutter stores. The future for Australian Toys 'R' Us stores looked grim and today, Toys R Us has gone into voluntary administration. If you're holding any sort of gift cards for Toys 'R' Us or Babies 'R' Us, or have pending orders or lay-bys - here's what you need to know.
I appreciate the many storage bins, baskets and chests that have contained my kid's avalanche of toys. They're pretty - we have a few woven ombré ones. They're huge. And best of all, I've been able to toss things in there at a rapid-fire pace before guests arrive, and have my house instantly look like it's straight from the pages of an IKEA catalogue - or at least like Fisher Price did not just throw up in it. My continual solution for getting rid of clutter has been to buy more beautiful bins. And now I realise that these containers have got to go.
Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and author of the New York Times bestselling book, My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can't Ask Martha. Her flagship column, "Ask a Clean Person", debuted in 2011. Here on Lifehacker, we're launching a new iteration of it, focusing on parenting and all the messes it brings.
"Please help me find a replacement for a lost 'best friend'," a person who goes by piper2010cameron wrote in an online post. "I have searched everywhere." The description of the missing companion: A tiny stuffed tiger with orange and black stripes, a small triangular nose, and a fuzzy white belly. And then there came this heartbreaking line: "My poor kiddo has been asking why 'Itsy Bitsy' hasn't come home and it kills me."
The PlayStation 4 just released a firmware update (5.50) that brought a ton of great features, such as comprehensive parental controls. Here's how you can set age restrictions for certain types of games and movies, set spending limits in the PlayStation Store, and regulate game time each day using the new Family Management feature.